Menu

Men's Health

The breakfast that will get you in the best shape of your life

It’s been said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This article will give you some guidelines as to what constitutes a good breakfast for optimal leanness.

At Charles Poliquin’s five-day Hypertrophy Camp, a student asked him for his single best dietary tip for optimal leanness, energy and sustained mental focus, and he shared a staple from his diet: the meat-and-nuts breakfast.

The Meat And Nuts Breakfast
Prior to learning this from Coach Poliquin, my contest coach, IFBB Pro Bodybuilder Ben Pakulski, introduced me to the rotating meat and nuts breakfast in prep for the 2011 WBFF World Championships, and I can testify to increased metal focus, less cravings, more focused energy, and my hardest and leanest physique to date—a low 4 percent body fat.

Why is the rotation of meat and nuts so effective?

Fewer Cravings Throughout The Day
The high-protein meat allows for a gradual rise in blood sugar and results in decreased cravings throughout the entire day. For more on why, read the article “The Effects of Consuming Frequent, Higher Protein Meals on Appetite and Satiety During Weight Loss in Overweight/Obese Men” in the journal Obesity, published in April 2011. This study followed subjects throughout the course of the day after they consumed either a high-protein diet or a normal-protein diet. They were required to report on their feelings of hunger, desire to eat and thoughts of food.  

The researchers were able to prove that the consumption of higher-protein meals leads to a greater feeling of satiety, less preoccupation with thoughts of food, and a decrease in late-night eating.

Blood-Sugar Regulation
The nuts provide a great dose of healthy fats that allow blood sugar to remain stable for a longer period of time. You can read about the study, first published online in June 2011 in the journal Diabetes Care, which investigated the value of consuming 2 ½ ounces of nuts, rather than a muffin of calorically equal value. The study was lead by Dr. David Jenkins, one of the pioneers of the glycemic index. The study was conducted on Type 2 diabetics, and the subjects were divided into three groups. The fist group added 75 grams of nuts to their daily diet, the second group added a protein-fortified whole-wheat muffin and the third group added a half-serving of nuts and half a muffin.

After three months, the group consuming all nuts reported drastic improvements in total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and the ApoB/ApoA1 ratio, compared to the other two groups. More than that, the important blood sugar marker, HbA1c, showed statistically significant improvement in the all-nut group.

__________________________________________

More from AskMen.com:

Best Breakfast Cereals 

Healthy Breakfast Choices 

Breakfast Shakes 

Worst Breakfast Foods 

___________________________________________

Rotate Your Protein Sources
This food combination reduces food sensitivities that are known to increase cortisol in people. It’s very common for individuals to have allergies to beef, eggs, whey, casein, tuna, and oatmeal— the typical bodybuilding staples. Most trainees do not have enough variety in their meat sources. Although beef is a great source of protein, you can become allergic to it if you consume it every day.

One of my coaches, Charles Poliquin, suggests fixing this problem by substituting other meats and not eating the same protein source two days in a row. Oftentimes, after two to six weeks, the allergy to a given protein is gone, and the protein can be reintroduced to the diet.  Allergy testing is useful for almost everyone, since people are often unaware of how certain foods are affecting them. If you’re unable to get tested for allergies, varying your protein sources is your single best solution and will also result in increased energy levels and decreased sleep requirements.

It should be noted that wild meat is better than domestic meat, because wild meats always offer better protein content than domestic meats. The famous American burger supplies 7.8 grams of protein per 100-calorie serving, while a serving of buffalo meat will give you 19.9 grams of the calorically equivalent serving.

What are some meat sources you can rotate? Here are a few: alligator, black bear, elk, sirloin, venison, buffalo, kangaroo, ostrich, wild boar, wagyu, and yak. In the poultry department: duck, goose, guinea, pheasant, quail, and squab.

It’s quite funny to see the reaction of my friends when they visit me in the morning and watch me cook some form of meat for breakfast, but virtually everyone—from pro athletes, executive businessmen and mothers—who has made the switch has reported the same benefits of increased energy, more mental focus and fullness. Multiple studies on employee productivity and on children’s attention patterns have demonstrated that a high-protein diet breakfast not only impacts energy and productivity levels from morning till noon, but also extends its positive effects into the late afternoon.

The Meat And Nuts Breakfast For Six Days:
Day 1
1-2 buffalo meat patties
1 handful of macadamia nuts

Day 2
1 large venison steak
1 handful of cashew nuts

Day 3
1-2 lean turkey burgers
1 handful of almonds

Day 4
Salmon omelet
1 handful of walnuts

Day 5
2 lean ground-beef patties
1 handful of Brazil nuts

Day 6
3 slices of turkey bacon
1 handful of hazelnuts

Cooking Tip: I usually add some coconut oil, 2 whole organic eggs and a massive handful of spinach, then mix all together in a frying pan. It takes less than five minutes to prepare. I also usually add 5 grams of high-quality fish oil.

Practically, it might not be realistic for everyone to rotate these six meals. I usually rotate around two or three different meat-and-nut combinations each month.

FAQs
Can I have a whey protein shake instead of the meat?
If my goal were to sell you a supplement, I would say “absolutely,” but it’s not the correct answer and does not result in the most optimal outcome. Read a study that was published in the British Journal of Nutrition in July 2011, because it investigates the question regarding whole-food protein vs. protein drinks. In short, two groups of teens were studied. The first group consumed a protein-rich, whole-food breakfast, and the second group consumed a protein-rich beverage. Both groups were given an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet four hours later, and, although both groups reported the same levels of satiety after breakfast, the beverage group consumed 33 percent more calories at lunch than the group who consumed a solid-food breakfast.  

What if you’re allergic to nuts?
Charles Poliquin recommends you add a portion of the following low-glycemic/low-fructose fruits to your breakfast: apricots, avocados, blackberries, blueberries, grapefruit, Loganberries, nectarines, olives, papayas, peaches, plums, raspberries, strawberries. The rule of thumb when eating fruits is to aim for organic, especially for strawberries, as they are one of the most highly sprayed crops in the world.

What if you’re skinny and trying to build muscle?
If you still wear extra-small clothes from the boys section in Sears, adding one to two cups of low-glycemic carbohydrates to your meat and nuts breakfast is acceptable. For anyone looking to lose fat and get lean, the rotating meat-and-nuts breakfast should become a staple dietary strategy.